New Extended Producer Responsibility rules come into effect on January 1, 2023 – is your business ready?

New Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) come into effect at the very start of 2023, and companies need to be aware of their responsibilities when it comes to every type of packaging from wood, plastic, paper, glass and ‘other’ as determined by the new rules.

Businesses selling, importing or handling packaged goods will need to comply with the new regulations, which mean data will have to be collected from the beginning of January by those businesses affected.

Who do the new rules apply to?

The EPR rules will apply to a wider number of companies than the Plastic Packaging Tax did, and some expect the cost to be much higher than the Plastic Packaging Tax has been. The wider ranging rules will hit companies, according to Gov.uk, who:

  • Are an individual business, subsidiary or group – but not a charity.
  • Have an annual turnover of more than £1m, based on the most recent annual accounts.
  • Are responsible for over 25 tonnes of packaging in a calendar year – running from January to December.
  • You carry out any of the packaging activities.

These packaging activities, again according to Gov.uk, include doing any of the following items:

  • Supply packaged goods to the UK market under your own brand.
  • Place goods into packaging that’s unbranded when it’s supplied.
  • Use ‘transit packaging’ to protect goods during transport so they can be sold to UK consumers.
  • Import products in packaging.
  • Own an online marketplace.
  • Hire or loan out reusable packaging.
  • Supply empty packaging.

What data will your business need to collect?

The data your business needs to collect will depend on whether you are defined as a small or large business under the rules. Small businesses are considered to be those with a turnover between £1m to £2m a year and that supply more than 25 tonnes of packaging or packaged goods in the UK market, says Gov.uk, or turnover £1m a year and supply between 25 tonnes and 50 tonnes of the above per year.

A large business is considered to be one with a turnover of more than £2m a year and handles or supplies more than 50 tonnes of packaging or packaged goods in the UK.

Both large and small businesses must start collating data about how much packaging weight they deal with each year from January 1, 2023. Small businesses will need to create an account and file returns annually from January 2024, while large businesses need to register by July 2023 and file returns every six months.

There is more detail involved in complying with these new rules than it is possible to relay in this article, so if you need more information go to Gov.uk or speak to your accountant to make sure you address what you need to do in time.

Let us help you

If you think you will be negatively affected by this change, or you simply want to know if it affects your business or not, then please get in touch with us and we can go through the various options you have.